2001

Ashland Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1601  Monday, 25 June 2001

From:           Nancy Charlton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 24 Jun 2001 17:40:55 -0700
Subject:        Ashland Shakespeare

Today's Sunday Oregonian featured a big spread in its ArtsWeek section
on the Ashland, Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2001, together with an
excellent review of the current plays by Bob Hicks, drama critic. The
review can be found on line, but alas sans pictures.

The featured plays this year include two that are recent subjects of
threads on SHAKSPER, "Merchant of Venice" and "Troilus and Cressida."
The other Shakespeare is "Merry Wives of Windsor"--which I don't recall
anyone ever discussing, and the season is rounded out with plays of
weird names:

"Oo-Bla-Dee" and "Fuddy Meers." The season's final two plays, Chekhov's
"Three Sisters" and Nilo Cruz's "Two Sisters and a Piano," open in July.

Hicks says some basic things about Merchant in particular that I think
the recent discussion here may be forgetting. E.g., "A lot of recent
productions have made Shylock the play's central, sympathetic character
and emphasized the spiritual baseness of the merchant and his friends.
Michael Donald Edwards, director of Ashland's "Merchant," has done
something perhaps more interesting.  He's pretty much played it as
Shakespeare wrote it, giving good men frightening attitudes and letting
Shylock stand out as a hard and bitter man, but a man who has his
reasons."

In the section on T&C Hicks writes:

"You can laugh at all this foulness, but it's a bitter laugh, a laugh
that recognizes the deep dark places that despoil beneath the veneer of
civilization. Yet there is a stairway on this descent into hell, and few
people are fully in the fire: They are on the way, with steps still to
descend."

I wondered if he knew the lines from Chaucer:

O blinde world, O blinde entencioun!
How ofte falleth al the effect contraire
Of surquidrye and foul presumpcioun;
For caught is proud, and caught is debonaire.
This Troilus is clomben on the staire,
And litel weneth that he moot descenden.
But al-day falleth thing that foles ne wenden.

Oh -- the URL:
http://www.oregonlive.com/eventsguide/index.ssf?/guides/oregonian/al_11aash24.frame

I don't think the online article has the Ashland contact into:
Tickets $14 - $56
Box office 541-482-4431, fax orders 541-482-8045. They can also send you
info about accommodations and the Jacksonville music festival up the
road a
piece. And you can go a little farther east and see Crater Lake (hurry
before it dries up) or south to the palindromic Yreka Bakery.

Nancy Charlton
Portland OR

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Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Life is a Dream

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1600  Monday, 25 June 2001

From:           Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 22 Jun 2001 08:17:13 -0700
Subject:        Life is a Dream

I'm writing from Ashland, Oregon, where the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
is mounting an 11 play season, including Shakespeare's *The Tempest* and
Calderon's *Life is a Dream.*  A comment by artistic director Libby Apel
makes it clear that this is deliberate, and the two plays have some
interesting resonances.  Let me defensively add that I have not read
*Life,* nor seen it produced before, so I may have missed some things.

The King in *Life* (sorry, my wife is asleep in the same room as the
program so I don't have character names as I write) corresponds to
Prospero in that the King is much more interested in science than in
rule.  He plans to abdicate so he may study mathematics.  When it comes
to math, I know the feeling.

The parallel between the King's study and Prospero's art is obvious.  In
fact the King is a bit of a fortune teller, saw in the stars that his
son would be a bad ruler, and so had him banished to a man-made cave to
the east.  Anyway, this sets up such other resonances with *Tempest* as
succession, and the politics of who should rule.

There is also a Caliban character, the Kings cave-raised son.  He is
crude and bestial, prone to give into his passions, and thereby hurt
others.  Post-colonialist critics will giggle with glee to know that he
is therefore not thought a fit ruler for the kingdom after the King's
abdication.

Those are the parallels I noticed.  I'll be interested to know of
list-members are aware of others.

Post-colonial influenced productions of *The Tempest* often cast a black
actor as Caliban.  OSF cast an African-American actor as the King's son
in *Dream.*  Could have just been blind casting, and the actor is
certainly fine in the role, but with OSF's deliberate *Tempest*
parallels, I gotta wonder.

All the best,
Mike Jensen

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Re: Why Shakespeare Conflicts

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1598  Monday, 25 June 2001

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 22 Jun 2001 07:39:57 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1574 Re: Why Shakespeare Conflicts

[2]     From:   Briggs John <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 25 Jun 2001 12:54:08 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 12.1574 Re: Why Shakespeare Conflicts


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 22 Jun 2001 07:39:57 -0700
Subject: 12.1574 Re: Why Shakespeare Conflicts
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1574 Re: Why Shakespeare Conflicts

I owe Mr. Small an apology for my third point in Friday's post.

>3) Mr. Small writes
>
> >He invents nothing except plot.

I found the meaning obscure, so read it a couple more times.  I thought
I understood it then, but now realize I did not.  I now realize Mr.
Small was not referring to Shakespeare.  Please accept my apology.

Gabriel Egan made an excellent point that Mr. Small would do well to
heed.

>Your spurious certainty that everywhere is like where you
>stand is what annoys people, Sam.

Yes.  I'm very glad I do not think like Mr. Small, and I imagine he is
very glad he does not think like me, and in a way, that's the point,
isn't it?

Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Briggs John <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 25 Jun 2001 12:54:08 +0100
Subject: 12.1574 Re: Why Shakespeare Conflicts
Comment:        RE: SHK 12.1574 Re: Why Shakespeare Conflicts

Gabriel Egan wrote:

>You should bear in mind that, in
>important respects, Copnor isn't even like North End.

Not something that I'd ever considered...  Mind you, I probably don't
help matters by thinking of Buckland when people say North End.  Now, if
you'd said Stamshaw...

John Briggs

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Re: Small Cast Hamlets

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1599  Monday, 25 June 2001

[1]     From:   Stevie Gamble <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 22 Jun
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1579 Re: Small Cast Hamlets

[2]     From:   Paul E. Doniger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 22 Jun 2001 22:57:15 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 12.1579 Re: Small Cast Hamlets


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stevie Gamble <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 22 Jun
Subject: 12.1579 Re: Small Cast Hamlets
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1579 Re: Small Cast Hamlets

One point about small cast Hamlets which may sometimes be overlooked is
that they pose interesting challenges to the costumer; I hope Hardy will
not object to me asking anyone who is in the vicinity of the Edinburgh
Festival this August to take a look at  _Hamlet! The Musical!_ ,
featuring the grand total of five actors, and let me have their thoughts
as to how well, or how badly, I have risen to those challenges.
Fortunately the small on-stage orchestra will be dressed as an
orchestra...

Best wishes,
Stevie Gamble

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul E. Doniger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 22 Jun 2001 22:57:15 -0400
Subject: Re: Small Cast Hamlets
Comment:        SHK 12.1579 Re: Small Cast Hamlets

OK, here's all I know: The actors in the JC production talked with us
after the performance. I didn't take any notes, but I remember some of
what they said. They did tell me that this was a new production; they
also mentioned the director's name (I can't remember who now, but it
wasn't Tina Packer).  The actors were all quite young, probably all
under 30 (with maybe one exception). I think these actors are all in a
training program or are interns at Sh. & Co.(they seem to be recent
college grads). Unfortunately, the group that does the school tours
doesn't seem to give out printed programs, and my memory is not good
enough to name these actors. I really doubt that Epstein was one of
them.

As I suggested in my previous posts, this production was done with
energy and sincerity. For that, I enjoyed it; the text, however, was
rushed (though not nearly so bad as last year's _Hamlet_), and much of
the character of Brutus and the character of Cassius were sacrificed for
speed. Caesar, on the other hand, seemed much more interesting than I
had ever seen before.  The "Calpurnia's dream" sequence was one of the
best moments in the play (Caesar showing both genuine fear and concern
along with his more traditional arrogant egotism). Caesar seemed almost
to know that he was going to be murdered, but refused to be stopped by
his fear from going to the senate. The Brutus/Cassius tent scene, on the
other hand, was too hurried to make much sense. The actors all made
noble efforts, however.

Does anyone know the names of the young actors in the touring troupe?

Paul E. Doniger

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The Butterfield Sale

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1597  Monday, 25 June 2001

From:           Steve Sohmer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 23 Jun 2001 18:07:30 EDT
Subject:        The Butterfield Sale

Dear Hardy (and Friends),

I went to look at the Shakespeare folios in the forthcoming Butterfields
sale of 28 June. There's a very bad First Folio estimated at $10/20K,
with only two complete plays MM and AWW. Then there's a very nice Second
Folio estimated at $50/70K which will probably sell much higher. The
Third Folio lacks the spurious seven plays, and is estimated at $10/20K.
The Fourth Folio is not very attractive and quite worn, missing many
pages, estimated $5/7K.  There are also some odd plays from the First
Folio bound separately, that will probably sell in the $18/20K range,
and a scattering of late 17th century quartos of OTH, HAM, and JC.

There's one bargain item (1088) for those who like autographs. It's a
document signed by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, Thomas Radcliffe,
Knollys, Cecil, and Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick. Might go under $1K.

For the record, my booksellers says there are three very fine First
Folios in private hands in the US. Wish I owned one.

All the best,
Steve

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Webpage <http://ws.bowiestate.edu>

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